tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Debate on Preventing a Potential... CSPAN November 30, 2022 1:34pm-2:36pm EST
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. the speaker: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank him for his leadership on the very important subcommittee of the transportation and infrastructure committee, rails, pipelines, and hazardous materials, the subcommittee of jurisdiction for the legislation that we're considering today. and i thank the chairman of the full committee, chairman peter
defazio of the transportation and infrastructure committee, for his just outstanding leadership for over 30 years in the congress of the united states. he's been a champion for america's working families. he's been a person about the future. we are -- we have been blessed by his leadership. and i want to commend chairman jim mcgovern of the rules committee for steering this urgent and necessary legislation to the floor in such an expeditious and effective manner. madam speaker, under president joe biden we've had the most pro-union administration in history. indeed, he chose a labor secretary in secretary marty walsh, whose deep personal roots in organized labor joining laborers union 223 at age 21 and served as the boston building trades before he became mayor of
boston. together, the white house -- the administration and the congress, we have proudly stood with working people. under president biden and our pro-union democratic majority, we're able to protect pensions, promote the pro-act for collective bargaining and create good-paying davis-bacon jobs in the infrastructure bill, in the chips and science law, and additional legislation. . weep believe that the middle class is the backbone of our democracy. and we believe that the middle class has a union label on it. madam speaker, today we are here to safeguard the financial security of america's families. to protect american economy as it continues to recover. and avert a devastating
nationwide rail shut down. we all know that for too long the railroads ownership have made obscene profits on the backs of workers. selling out to wall street and its outrageous precision scheduled railroading, they have slashed jobs, increased hours, and cut corners on safety while demanding more and more from the workers. and rather than reinvesting their profits into the workers over the past decade they have given $150 billion in handouts to their corporate executives and wealthiest investors. it's just not right. that is why relentless labor leaders like dennis pares and jeremy ferguson whom i saw close up and watched them fight for their union members among others, alongside our pro-union president, joe biden, and labor secretary marty walsh, as i
referenced, fought furiously to negotiate a fairer deal for railroad workers. and thanks to their months of determined leadership the tentative agreement that was reached has secured important advances. a 25% pay raise and $5,000 bonus. no changes in co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance cost, and protecting the two-man crew. protecting the two-man crew. very important. but we know much more needs to be done for railroad workers. it is outrageous that every developed country in the world has paid sick leave except the united states of america. no one should be at risk of losing his or her job by staying home when sick, needing to see a doctor, or getting lifesaving surgery. so it is progress the agreement provides some time off for routine preventive and emergency medical care, but what we need
is paid sick leave for railroad workers and for every american. i hear this every place i go. not just the railroads. these railroad workers they are very skilled, their work is challenging, has some danger, they need to have these very talented workers. yet they are willing to let them go if they miss a few days of work because having to get a check up or something. going to see a proctologist is not a reason why people would take a day off. they do that because they have to. so today the house will take two important actions. first, we will pass shut down averting legislation to adopt the tentative agreement as negotiated by the railroad companies and labor leaders, and again with the administration at the table. then we will have a separate up or down vote to add seven days of paid sick leave to the
tentative agreement. that's always been our intention to do. we are doing it on the same day because of the end of session. doing so fulfills our authority and responsibility under the commerce clause of the constitution to ensure that the uninterrupted operation of critical transportation services and fight for fair -- that's our responsibility as we fight for fairer future for our workers. let me be clear. that nationwide rail shut down would be catastrophic. a shut down would grind our economy to a halt and every family would feel the strain. as many as 765,000 workers, including many union members, would lose their jobs in just the first two weeks. experts project it would cost the economy up to $2 billion a day and raise prices on consumers' products.
families wouldn't be able to buy groceries or lifesaving medications because it would be even more expensive and perishable goods would spoil before reaching shelves. that's why so many members were saying we've got to avert a shut down because we've got to get produce to market. and our farm communities. communities wouldn't be able to get chlorine to keep their water safe and clean. and small businesses wouldn't be able to get their products to market. many of them as i say farmers. time is of the essence. we must act now. i urge a strong bipartisan yes vote on both adopting the tentative agreement and securing additional paid sick leave. in doing so we will give our families and businesses confidence that the american economy will remain resilient and strong. and will move to enhance the dignity and economic security of many hardworking americans who
keep our nation on the move. our nation's hopes, really, are riding on this vote. i urge a very strong yes on both bills, on both votes and yield back the balance of my time. that can you, madam speaker -- thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, madam speaker. i want to thank -- i yield myself such time as i may consume. i want to thank the speaker for the comments. today we are here because of a failure by the biden administration to prevent a rail labor strike. it's unfortunate that we need congress to act quickly to avoid obviously a catastrophic
economic disaster. or consequences as a result of this. freight rail is extremely important in our nation's economy and national security. approximately 40% of all the long distance cargo is transported by rail. in recognition of freight rail's economic importance, congress enacted the railway labor act. this legislation helps to ensure that collective bargaining rights for rail workers. it created processes, including congressional action, which we are doing, to ensure the prop settlement of labor disputes that could interrupt interstate commerce and damage the economy. when an agreement was not reached this past august, president biden appointed presidential -- p.e.b., a presidential emergency board. it recommended a very robust package of pay and benefits for railway workers. salary increases of 24%.
starting retroactively, by the way. in 2020, which goes through 2024. there was generous, very generous health benefits with employee contributions capped at 15% of premiums. and additional paid day off. it should be noted that the biden administration's p.e.b. recommendations did not agree with the union's demand for additional paid sick leave. i'm disappointed the democrats in the 11th hour altered the items -- these particular items to cater to the demands. this is an extreme and unprecedented version of the necessary congressional intervention. as the original september deadline for a strike approached, president biden's secretary of labor, marty walsh, negotiated a tentative agreement with the railroad companies and all 12 of the rail union
leaders. president biden hailed the agreement as a win for rail workers. and secretary walsh and other union leaders, they praised it as well. we all saw that in the news. it's now clear that the administration cannot close their own deal. eight of the 12 unions voted to ratify the tentative agreement. four voted it down. and rail strike is now possible at midnight on december 9. as we approach a very busy holiday season. now it falls on congress to avert a railway shut down that would literally devastate the economy which is already coping with the disastrous consequences of the administration's economic policies. rail shut down would severely disrupt supply chains and add uh inflation that we are already seeing t would lead to higher energy costs as winter weather
raises energy demand. and disrupt global food supplies. estimates are that america's economic output could decline by $2 billion a day. for these reasons, organizations represented just about every industry in the economy have called on congress to avoid a crippling rail strike. it never should have come to this. but i encourage my colleagues in this process to avert a strike. i do encourage my colleagues to support house res. -- house joint resolution 100. this is -- while the rail strike is imminent if something isn't done, what folks need to understand as well is the railroad also have to start shutting down a lot of the critical, particularly hazmat, hazardous material movement, they'll have to shut that down
earlier. a week earlier t will cripple the -- week earlier. it will cripple the economy. if you live in a rural state or very agriculture dependent district, right now is the time when the fertilizer being applied. that's one area as an example of we are going to see serious problems if this isn't averted. it's very sad that the majority chose to change this at the very last minute. now we are voting on two different resolutions with a very, very generous paid sick leave. in addition to what's already out there in terms of employees who have health issues. with that, madam speaker, i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is
recognized. mr. payne: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. mr. payne: madam speaker, it is deeply unfortunate that congress has had to assume the role of mediator in order for our nation to avoid a widespread repercussions of a rail shut down. let me be clear, we are all here today due to the inability of the railroads to negotiate paid sick leave, period. an essential component of any humane and decent work environment. i want to thank the nearly 115,000 dedicated hardworking and essential frail rail workers who have kept our economy alive threw some of our nation's most challenging times. as chairman of the house subcommittee on railroads,
pipelines, hazardous materials the decision to intervene and prevent the freight rail shut down was not easy by any means. however, with the nearly 1/3 of the nation's freight moved by rail, the failure to prevent a rail stoppage would be irresponsible as it would be -- have devastating consequences on our economy and everyday american life. not only would a stoppage stunt our economic growth, it would disrupt supply chains around the world and skyrocket costs of fuel and food just before winter. we all know this would put us dangerously close to the possibility of a recession. something american farmers and small business simply cannot afford after years of negligent -- neglected --
neglect under the former occupant of the white house. shirking our duty to act would inflict harm on everyday american families with soaring costs at the pump and rising prices of groash -- at grocery stores. therefore we simply cannot afford to idle at this critical juncture. mark my words, the rail industry should be ashamed for bringing us to this place. they have failed to meet the needs of the men and women who have demonstrated nothing short of courage over the past couple of years. i promise to help pass meaningful legislation that would prioritize the needs of workers. that is why i am co-sponsoring a bill which we will -- which will be before you later today that will provide seven days paid sick leave to rail employees.
i urge each of you to join me in doing what we must do to prevent a rail strike and defend our rail employees, guardians of our economy. with that i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i will talk a little bit about the sick leave, the paid sick leave that we continue to hear about, you know, throughout this process. you got to remember what we're debating right now is the president's recommendation. that's what his -- his board recommended, what they negotiated, and what the president asked congress to support. but what is claimed they don't have the sick days and that argument is very misleading. the tentative agreement found in this bill that we're debating right now, h. resolution 100,
providers workers with several avenues of different types of leave which are carefully considered by the members of -- these were very carefully considered by members of the p.e.b. balance with higher levels of compensation and increased benefits. in short, the neutral appointed p.e.b. that the president appointed rejected union demands for additional paid leave. traditionally, labor unions have negotiated with freight railroads for very generous benefits to make up for what we consider traditional sick days. this agreement is no exception and includes a very historic 24% -- i mentioned this earlier -- 24% increase by 2024 that comes with an $11,000 in back wages, an additional $1,000 in bonus payments. this is in addition to a very
generous health care benefit which employees contribute -- think about this -- employee contributions are set at 15%. the average employee contribution for family coverage in the united states is 28% of the premium. so let's be clear, we can't have our cake and eat it too which is exactly what the majority is trying to do with this resolution. rail labor is set to receive a 24% increase by 2024. and that's going to set an average wage and benefits compensation level at more than $160,000 a year. that's the highest package in almost 50 years. payout of $11,000 -- i'm repeating myself. it bears repeating. $11,000 in back wages and $1,000 in bonus payments. the additional days of paid time off for all employees -- it's included. so we're talking about -- you know, we're talking about a lot of different things here but the
p.e.b. did not miss something on this topic. experienced neutral p.e.b. members studied and ultimately had to balance many competing interests to come up with this holistic recommendation for an agreement. the p.e.b.'s report recommends that any particulars about sick leave and attendance policies should be dealt with locally, not through national bargaining and could be addressed through binding arbitration which has refused on the national mediation board recommended this in june, 2022. it's further stipulated that to the extent that these issues are not directly addressed by the framework, they are being indirectly addressed by a compensation through much higher wages. in other words, p.e.b.'s recommendation of 24% increase in wages for the union's request, it basically balanced off the union's request for increased paid time off. that was the debate. that was the agreement.
and that's what we're being asked to -- asked to support. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. payne: madam speaker, i wish to yield one minute to representative rick larsen from washington. mr. larsen: madam speaker, i rise to support h.res. 100 as well as the follow-on 119. a few people prefer to be here today to pass this legislation but congress has the authority to act because we have to but it's not because we want to but we have to prevent a work stoppage. and we have to recognize that the tentative agreements fall short, well short of what is necessary for paid leave for rail workers. benefits do not replace paid sick leave. going to work sick to earn your wage increase, who does that?
who requires that? only the rail industry. so we should pass h.res. 100 and afterwards pass h.res. 119 to address the woefully inadequate sick leave provisions in the tentative agreement. and with that, madam speaker, i'd yield back the balance of my time. mr. payne: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: sorry. excuse me. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, madam speaker. i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. nehls. ne mr. nehls: thank you. president biden took two victory laps before this election. one was an illegal bribe to college graduates that the courts struck down and the second was this unsuccessful rail labor agreement. and they both failed. they were both lies to win an
election. now it falls on congress to clean up his mess and avoid a rail strike which will be catastrophic for our economy. it is estimated that a rail strike will cost the economy roughly $2 billion with a b, $2 billion a day. the u.s. rail system moves cargo ek of 460,000 long haul instruction day. if you -- the cost of moving anything will skyrocket overnight just in time -- just in time for christmas. our businesses and workers need certainty to operate in the environment. and for this reason, i plan on voting for house joint resolution 100. the agreement is supported by our railroads, shippers and
unions. i encourage my colleagues to do the same. every major industry from automobiles to energy will be severely impacted if we fail to act. these are some of the largest drivers of inflation and will directly increase the prices for american consumers. in conclusion, i'd like to point out this deal is a great deal for the railroad workers. by the end of this deal, the average wages for rail workers will reach $110,000 per year with total compensation averaging $160,000. it's unthinkable that the four railroad unions are holding the nation economically hostage. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. payne: thank you, madam speaker. and, yes, i'm glad that you pointed that out to the gentleman on the other side. this just appears it's going to
be a president biden bashing opportunity. but we're here for very important reasons. and for all the reasons the gentleman just stated is a serious nature of why we're here. for all those reasons. so we have to act. and it is our responsibility -- it's come to us, as much as we might not like to negotiate this, we are standing right in front of a looming work stoppage. and we have to act for the millions and millions of americans that would be impacted by these measures. and you know, madam speaker, my friend from the other side of the aisle continues to mention
how wonderful this package is. and it was -- it was fairly generous. it was right. they hadn't had a deal in three years. so you know, 24% sounds like a great increase, but over three years, divide by three, it's 8%. which is a relatively fair increase. so i think that, you know, let's deal with the issues at hand. not make this about bashing the president. and do the work that we need to do. the railroads have said workers already have sick time. is that true? well, let me answer that. it is not true unless what the railroads want you to believe is that when people get sick, they
should use their vacation time. their vacation time for sick days. now, you know, i'm not sure how on the other side of the aisle their offices are operated but i thought we're all one congress so it's done in the same manner. all my staff have sick days. i believe most of the people that work for this body have sick days. i don't know if they don't have sick days on the other side, i would think that would be represent rehencible. -- reprehensible. but we're fighting for people to not have what we have is -- is -- is unfortunate and unjust. and so we're just trying to do the right thing for the country and for these workers that had
not been able to get the railroads who have had profits out -- out of the stratosphere in the last decade to get them to do the one thing that the labor unions asked. they didn't ask for the large raise, the benefits, which are all good. they wanted to deal with sick pay. and railroads refused to do it. and with that, i wish to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, homs. sheila jackso lee. ms. jackson lee: i'm on the floor today because i have a heart and i hope that i will be joining those who will be
deliberating very seriously about this legislation. first, however, i want to thank mr. defazio for his leadership on the transportation committee and engagement. but i also want to thank my dear, dear friend, congressman don payne, whose vision and commitment and big heart. he literally put us in a place where the hearts can control our minds. how indecent is it to have companies who refuse to negotiate with our rail unions, specifically our rail unions, because i know we have many letters from our suppliers. they don't want a strike. i don't want anything to impact negatively on america or my city of houston. but i must challenge what we are trying to do with respect to the rail companies. i'm standing with the unions. my locals and my nationals. and the reason is i think we should put into the record, bnsf
railway, $23 billion in revenue. union pacific railroad, $21.8 billion in revenue. ownership of bsnf, 46% owned by wall street. c.s.x., 46% owned by wall street. yub pacific, 34%. kansas city southern, 36%. norfolk southern, 42%. i any it is heart there be a 24% pay raise, bonuses. no changes in co-pays and allowance of time off for routine procedures. but how indecent it is they would not sit down and provide sick days in the most dangerous professions. houston is the crossroads starting from the western frontier days of railroads. we have tracks everywhere. they are an inconvenience for our community. no matter where you live. but predominantly in minority
communities. they cause ambulances to so. they injure and cause schoolchildren to cross tracks. can i get an additional minute? mr. payne: i extend the lady another one minute. ms. jackson lee: they contaminate our neighborhoods. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: thank you. madam speaker, they contaminate our neighborhoods. i know you are on energy and commerce. it is unbelievable. and they won't clean it up. from the e.p.a. to every place we've gone and people are suffering from cancer. but i want to do the right thing today and i cannot imagine h.con.res 119 is what i'm standing on because it does not make sense to not provide people with sick days. paid sick days should be extended and paid time off -- paid time off with sick leave is a top priority for the rail workers, especially when their jobs expose them to risks such as toxic dangers in the rail
yards and dangers on the train as well. it is ironic that the railroads resist providing flexibility to workers' schedules to provide these sick days. every company that is decent in america should run toward giving sick days, and so i rise to support both my community fighting against contamination and i rise to support this underlying legislation. i hope the white house will take my call because i will be trying to determine how this will go forward. thank president biden for his great leadership. he's a labor president. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: i yield myself such time as i may consume. we are discussing earlier about this being a presidential bashing or whatever the case may be, but i have to ask the question. why are we here? why is congress doing this? the reason is, madam speaker, because the president failed,
the administration failed. that's the reason this was brought to congress. so congress could intervene and move this forward. i might also point out that we are debating right now the package that we are debating is recommended by the president's p.e.b., by his board that he appointed. the president, himself, wants us to pass this package. and i'm going to quote the speaker who just, what, sunday, said, this is a quote, this week the house will take up a bill adopting the tentative agreement with no poison pills or changes, or changes, to the negotiated terms and send it to the senate. and now they are backing up. they are backing up on that process. that's really what's wrong or what's happening today. they are backing up on that and trying to renegotiate.
they are trying to renegotiate this whole pros test -- process, that a lot of people put time and effort into and came to an agreement. there is no reason anymore. why do we have the system set up the way it is if congress is going to come in and make changes to all of the recommendations. with that i reserve the balance. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. the rank-and-file union members vote on ratifying contracts. i hope that's understood. after working harder and locker and under -- and longer and under worsening conditions for years, they have spoken loudly about wanting to improve quality of life, including paid sick time. the railroads have refused to give them this basic benefit causing us to be here today.
yes, we are talking about two pieces of legislation here. we are dealing with h.j.res. 100, which is the president's asking us to support and to p pass, but, you know, i would not be able to live with myself if i did not respond to the workers that all they have asked for -- tthey started out with 15 days, mr. speaker. asking for 15 days of sick time. and we are able -- we are willing to finally negotiate down to four. just four. and yet and still these profit
grossing railroads could not find their way to give them four days. they said, go on unemployment if you are sick. who asks -- is that something that we ask our employees to do? do we ask people across this nation to do? it's unconscionable. for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, not to acknowledge that, is just -- is unconscionable. with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to wish to yield two minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from new jersey not just for yielding me time but for your outstanding leadership on this issue. i want to thank speaker pelosi for hearing our cry to include
paid sick leave today. if the rail unions ask congress to stay out of this current dispute, i would work hard to honor their wishes, but they have not done so. so the question becomes what agreement will congress impose? the railway labor act gives us unfettered power to choose any terms we think fair. in general, i think we should honor the collective bargaining process and pass the t.a. agreed to by the parties in the presidential emergency board. we must modify the deal and include paid sick leave. thousands of rail workers voted against the t.a. because the precision railroad scheduling system is inhumane and insults the dignity of the workers. basic justice requires us to act. i would strongly have repreferred we send a clean resolution to the senate including sick leave. it's not even december. we have a week we are in session this week and next week.
lord knows the industry can afford it. they are making obscene profits and are the very symbol of income and wealth inequality which is plaguing this nation. although the way we are doing this is not my first choice, i appreciate our leadership providing us a way to support sick leave for these workers and send paid sick time for rail workers to the senate. i hope they join us in supporting a slightly more humane schedule for the rail workers of this nation. thank you very much. i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: at this time i yiele time? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri has 16 and a half minutes. the gentleman from new jersey has 14 1/2 minutes. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i would yield seven minutes to the gentleman from
arkansas who is the ranking member of the railroad subcommittee, mr. crawford. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. crawford: thank you, mr. speaker. we are here today because of the colossal failure of joe union biden. the president who has by his own declaration been the most union friendly president in history. been here since 1970. joe amtrak. joe lunch box, whatever you want to call him. he's punted this to us to deal with his colossal mistake. and i can't wait for the rails to be running and make sure they have plenty of railcars available to haul off these car loads of bovine residue that's being spread around here today because the president wade food something he wasn't able to finish -- waded into something he wasn't able to finish. the misinformation being proliferated here about the sick days. why is there no mention of the actual sick days in the p.e.b.,
the number of sick days we are adding to -- we came to a resolution, myself and soon-to-be chairman graves that codified the p.e.b. recommendation. the 24% pay raise. 24%. let's keep in mind that we are in a recession. i'd like for us to get a 24% raise. we codified a 24% raise, 14% of which would take effect immediately. the balance of which would take place over the next four years. $5,000 bonus. eight of the unions of the 12 agreed. that was the p.e.b. recommendation. we were willing to choke that one down and say, ok, because our economy in this fragile state created by president joe union cannot sustain a $2 billion a day economic hit. for the good of the country, we'll choke that down. they say we are going to have a cooling off period.
we'll think about t they come back and say, no, we are going to strike on december 9. december 9. we are approaching wintertime. how many people across the country are going to be relying object the commodities necessary to heat their homes? i don't know the millions of people that would be impacted. this isn't about christmas presents. although that's a big part of it because the economy -- we are not going to have as many christmas presents this year anyway. on top of it we are going to freeze people out? and these unions put a gun to the head of the american people and say this is what we want, and we are not going to play ball. so the president's p.e.b., the presidential emergency board makes this recommendation. we go ahead and put legislation in place to support that. and at the 11th hour here we are, my friend from new jersey, the chairman of the rail subcommittee, said, yeah, we'll take that. we'll add one sick day. ok.
i can live with one sick day. what i can't live with is the game they are playing legislatively when they make a promise we are not going to put poison pills on this bill. then come back after the fact and throw this 119 kicker in place. flat out lie. another colossal failure on the part of the outgoing speaker. she couldn't get the votes on her side of the aisle to vote for 100, the p.e.b. recommendation. the p.e.b. recommendation that the president asked for, president joe union, and yet here we are having to deal with 119, the additional poison pill that speaker said would not be present in this legislation. that's what's wrong with this institution, by the way. when people say they are going to do something, then 20 minutes later they reverse themselves. this came out last night, by the way. late in the evening, so no one
would be aware of it. and now we are having to deal with it. makes a mockery of this institution. by the way the authority that we have to deal with this doesn't mandate that we deal with it. it just says we have the authority. by the way, that authority was given in 1926. almost 100 years ago. what a colossal failure on the part of the president and on the part of the speaker that we have to be here at all wasting valuable time of this body that we could be doing so many more important things for our people in this country than having to deal with this hostage situation at a time when our economy cannot sustain it. a $2 billion a day hit that is about ready to hit us right in the face. at a time when our folks, particularly in the northeast that rely on commodities like heating oil. we can't move it. by the way, maybe we could move it more efficiently if our pipelines were working like they
should be. again the president saw to that. we don't have adequate resources in the trucking industry. we are at a driver shortage. we can't just rely on the strucking industry to -- on the trucking industry to fill that void. again, president joe union biden, lunch box biden, amtrak biden, whatever moniker you want to go by, mr. president, this is on you. this is your failure you have punted into the house of representatives to clean up your colossal mess w that i yield back. mess. with that i yield back. some members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. glad to know how the gentleman on the other side really feels about this being a waste of time and saving the nation from a colossal $2 billion hit, as he
would put it, that this is a waste of time. i'm glad that he lets the american people know how he really feels about this effort. we are in a situation where we don't have very much of a choice right now for the reasons that he stated. it would be a $2 billion hit to this nation every single day. iit impacting the lives of american families across this nation. so, yes, for whatever his disappointment is or whatever it is, we are here and now we have to act and save the nation from that perilous situation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri.
mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. i don't have any other speakers at this time. i do want to point out the statement was made now we have to act to save the nation. now we have to act to save the nation. why is that? because the president failed, mr. speaker. because the administration failed. that's why we have to act. it's a waste of time? absolutely because the administration failed. that's the reason congress is here. again i don't have any other speakers. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. payne: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman likewise reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: i'm prepared to close.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. graves: do they have one more? i reserve the balance. the speaker pro the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. mr. payne: i recognize the gentleman from illinois for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker and mr. chairman. i rise today in strong support of h.j.res. 100 because it's time to stop paying lip service to the men and women in the rail industry and give them the dignity they deserve. rail workers across trades always get the job done whether it's the incredible heat of the southwest or the bitter cold winters in cities like chicago, they never stop.
and there is one thing that the pandemic taught us, it's that we can't keep treating them like they are expendable. a rail strike is rail workers are forced to work sick or penalized and take a day off. chicago and the people i represent live and work in the nation's heart and center of america's rail network. this is an abstract for me, it's my neighbors. we see these hard working men and women getting the job done, rain, shine or snow. when i said i wouldn't vote for a deal that didn't include sick leave. i meant it. it is a right not a negotiation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
the gentleman from new jersey. mr. payne: i reserve. mr. graves: could i inquire of any more speakers? mr. payne: we don't have any more speakers. mr. graves: i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey may -- i'm sorry, the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: in closing, i just want to say freight rail strike would devastate the supply chain and shut down the country. estimates that the strike would cost $2 billion per day during a very busy holiday season. this strike comes months after president biden celebrated averting a railway strike, remember? they were treated in tail you are and kicked this problem to
congress for us to decide. the terms of the tentative agreement found in this resolution are more than fair for. >> workers, 24% increase in wages and it's retroactive. employee contributions, a cap at 15%. this is sp supported by the freight. >> s by shippers and eight of s 12. this was a very negotiated proposal and it had bipartisan momentum that was building for this resolution. unfortunately the majority paid political games with the economy and went back on the president and the speaker's stated support for implementing the terms of the tentative agreement. this is beyond bad faith. this is simply reckless. i want to point out what we are
voting on this is the tentative agreement, that is the original agreement and go on next to vote on the extra benefits. despite the speaker and the president's decision to power the progressive demands by having a second vote on the revised agreement, i do plan to support this resolution, this one right now we are debating to implement the tentative agreement as it was negotiated in an effort to stop a rail shutdown and i would urge my colleagues to do the same. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time the gentleman from new jersey may close. mr. payne: i would like to thank my colleague on the other side of the aisle for once again making the points we have tried to make. you will have the opportunity to vote on h.j.res. 100 and as it
has been mistakenly portrayed, a poison pill. there is no poison pill. you have the opportunity to vote h.j.res. 100. then there is a second piece of legislation. you're welcome. we separated them. we separated them. but we had to do something. this, mr. speaker, is about fairness. and just as you have a vote in this body, each member has a vote to ratify or not ratify and the workers in the labor unions have a vote to ratify or not ratify. your leadership comes up with sometimes things that you want to see done. does everyone vote with the
leadership? it was a negotiated deal. eight of the 12 ratified four did not. 115,000 workers, the majority of the workers are in those four unions, from what i understand. so it is a fair majority of the workers that did not ratify this. you mean to tell me every time your leadership gives you something that they negotiate that you vote on it? no. sometimes you don't vote with what your leadership has brought you. and so, these people are doing the same thing that you are allowed to do in this body and i
don't think that is a situation that is unrealistic. as the railroad implemented drastic changes that brought steep work force cuts, that's right, cuts, close scurs of yards and shops, associated jobs and pushed workers to the brink during the pandemic, our railroad workers showed up every day and night out of their commitment to our country serving as defenders as chiefs of our economy. that patriotism -- that's patriotism and deserves to be honored. during the pandemic, they suffered through some of the most strict attendance policies in our country in order to keep
our commie alive -- economy alive. we shouldn't have to intervene but we miss to ensure that americans don't have to pay for the greed of those who yielded the benefits of record-breaking profits and won't meet their employee' demands. paid sick time is a basic necessity required to recover from being ill that all of your staffs have. and it helps prevent sick workers from making preventable safety mistakes. time has proven that railroads are unwilling to set this dispute despite having more than enough money to pay for these benefits. railroad c.e.o.'s benefits
exceed 144 times, 144 times what the average railroad worker makes. yet, still, they are unwilling to bend for paid sick time off. i wonder would they'd do when they're sick. all the while they know that their profits are built off of the backs of these dedicated rail workers who deserve so much more. despite the challenging decisions to intervene, i will continue to press the rail industry to do what they know to be the right by their workers and once we pass this legislation, we will pass legislation that guarantees paid sick leave for rail workers since the industry has decided they wouldn't. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. all time for debate has now expired. pursuant to house resolution 1499, previous question is ordered. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the joint resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: providing for a resolution with respect to the unresolved dispute represented by the national carriers conference and certain of the employees. the speaker pro tempore: the question now is on passage of the joint resolution. those in favor, say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it, the ayes have it -- the
gentleman from missouri. did you ask for the yeas and nays? mr. graves: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman asks for the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will please rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. [captioning performed by thenat, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] pursuant to house resolution 1499, house resolution 1495 and house concurrent resolution 118 are considered as adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey,
mr. payne, seek recognition? mr. payne: pursuant to house resolution 1499, i call up house concurrent house res. 119. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: concurrent resolution providing for a correction in the enrollment of house joint resolution 100. pursuant to house resolution 1499 the concurrent resolution is considered read. the concurrent resolution shall be debatable for 10 minutes controlled by the chair and ranking minority member on the committee of transportation and infrastructure or respective designees. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pape, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. graves each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. payne: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to
revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on house concurrent resolution 119. the speaker pro tempore: without objection mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker, i'm honored to offer this enrollment corrections bill with my friend and colleague peter defazio who is in taking a sick day. he is at the tail end of covid. and we all appreciate his ability to stay home when he is sick. this bill will allow the same for railroad workers. it will correct what the freight railroads have refused to do for three years with their workers during a worldwide pandemic no
less, despite the railroads earning tens of billions of dollars. railroad workers have shown up and now in the steadying of the covid pandemic. they risked their health and their families to keep our nation's freight moving. railroaders cannot work remotely. some are on call regularly and others work outdoors year round. unlike of 750% of industry workers, the more than 10,000 railroad workers do not have paid sick days. i should note that management at these very railroads have paid sick days. this bill will correct this wrong by ensuring rail red have